If Sony can withhold content from HD-DVD just to sink the format, they are in a position to control all other distribution channels. I'm not saying that HD-DVD couldn't have been handled better, but look at this chart I made awhile ago, pulled from data from Box Office Mojo. http://img460.imageshack.us/img460/8562/moviestudiomarketshareyr2.png

Universal was the biggest supporter of HD-DVD and Sony clearly was the biggest supporter of BRD. If you consider the content available for each system, Sony pictures had an inventory of nearly twice the number of films available. Another chart I made at the time, but apparently didn't post and probably don't have anymore showed that Sony was actually taking in little revenue from their films, compared to movies distributed by others, but that only further solidifies my point in that Sony was going after volume and not so much quality in the years leading up to the HD-DVD vs. BRD standoff.

To further drive this point home... do you know how many PS3s TOTAL had been sold in January 2007? By the numbers I can find 932,000. That's it. Less than a million. I pulled these figures from: http://www.pvcmuseum.com/games/charts/monthly-console-hardware-sales-in-america.htm, but I have no reason to doubt them.

Once Warner Brothers committed to one of the formats exclusively, it was over... Not the PS3.

Sony makes the movie, puts their music in the movie, shows it in their theaters (you did know that Sony owned Loews Theaters but it looks like that acquisition may have changed hands now), using their projectors, gets sold to the consumer, is played on their Blu-Ray player, shown on their TV, and heard over their sound system. But wait you say, you don't like BRD so you just stream movies!?! Well, Sony owns Crackle which today provides its content through a web syndication network, including YouTube, Hulu, AOL, MySpace, and mobile service providers. But Sony has that shiny box called a PS3 in ~17,000,000 homes now. All they really need to do is convince people that they are making streaming movies available on the PS3 as a matter of convenience.

If overnight, Sony decided that it didn't want to distribute content over other channels, and take a bigger piece of the pie, what's to stop them? This is exactly what happened to Netflix only a month ago: http://money.cnn.com/2011/07/08/technology/netflix_starz_contract/index.htm. They are using content to leverage network entrapment so that you only go to Sony to get your Sony content.

My concern is that this is precisely what all content distributors are going to start doing. Fox just recently pulled it's online streaming content behind a paywall: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111903999904576470430699007532.html. It is not shocking to think that all the other network affiliates might follow suit. As the Cable industry contracts, more and more content will be hosted online, and they are setting themselves up to become their own distributors. And why not? This gives them an ever increasing hold over what you can watch, but it also reduces that chance that their content will be owned by the consumer... it won't do anything to really curb piracy, but that is the excuse they'll use to tighten things up.

Google TV, gone. Apple TV, see ya! The scary thing to me, is that Sony has the resources and content to do something like this, and they have demonstrated in the past that they have no problem doing it. If Sony does start locking things up tight, you can expect that so will everyone else.
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